Getting paid – telephone tactics for debt collection

How to protect your cash flow

In the current economic climate more and more companies are finding that their customers are taking longer to pay – or are not even paying at all. As cash flow is key to the survival of any business, effective debt collection tactics are vital for all businesses.

This workshop concentrates on the telephone skills and techniques you can use to achieve the most positive outcome in any debt collection situation – payment of money owed, as soon as possible, whilst keeping the collection cost as low as possible.

The course will help you:
  • Understand your debtors and communicate with them accordingly
  • Develop a strategy for more effective debt collection
  • Make every call count
  • Handle difficult calls
  • Reduce the amount of time you need to spend on chasing payment
  • Increase your collection rates


This thoroughly practical one-day course uses a mixture of formal tutor inputs, practical exercises and tutor-facilitated discussion.

The expert trainer

An enthusiastic developer of people, Scott has been working as a coach and consultant since 1996. During his career Scott has worked through various roles in the finance industry, including debt collection, account management, business advising and sales development, with a range of businesses and people at all levels including managing directors and CEOs.

Since becoming an independent coach, trainer and consultant, Scott has worked with a wide range of clients in a diverse range of sectors, with excellent results:

‘Approachable, applied teachings, flexible and made it all relevant. Good background preparation.’

‘Enjoyed the course… a very good source of motivation and material to improve my skills.’

‘He’s not only a nice trainer but an excellent communicator.’

‘Linked very well to my role – could relate examples to everyday tasks.’

‘Will help me to provide a better level of customer service and solve the challenges of difficult situations.’

Special feature

This course features the unique COLLECT model, which will help you to remember the key principles for effective debt collection:
  • Collect
  • Observe behaviour
  • Listen to concerns
  • Learn what you can
  • Empathise with your customer
  • Create win-win solutions
  • Time is of the essence!

Course outline

  1. The debt collection process 
    • Understanding the reasons behind payment default
    • Looking at the debt situation from the customer’s point of view
    • Developing a strategy for effective debt collection
  2. Advanced telephone communication skills
    • Techniques for speaking to the person responsible for paying the debt
    • How to gain the customer’s trust when discussing debt
    • Telephone collection skills best practice
    • Key phrases that keep the conversation positive and open
  3. Questioning and listening skills for gathering information
    • Different types of question
    • Using high-gain questions to uncover key information
    • Active listening that will help you understand what customers are really saying
    • Leading with examples and high-impact questions
    • Summarising and restating
  4. Overcoming objections and excuses
    • Identifying objections
    • Preparing suitable responses
    • Probing objections and ways to overcome them
  5. Gaining commitment and ending the call
    • Learn how to negotiate an agreement to suit both parties
    • Summarising actions for you and the customer
    • Ending the call professionally
  6. Dealing with difficult and challenging situations
    • Understand different personality types
    • The correct way to respond to an upset customer
    • Ways to calm angry customers (and handle verbal attacks)
  7. Action plans
    • Course summary and presentation of action plans

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